To the Salvia genus, part of the great Lamiaceae (Labiatae) family, belong many species, some aromatic and edible (sage); others, ornamental (salvia splendens); and still others, wild. The name comes from the Latin "salvus" (healthy) or "salus" (health). The species most often used in cuisine is Salvia officinalis, a perennial, bushy shrub with gray-green leaves, rich in essential oils that give it its characteristic aroma. The presence of essential oils also gives the plant healthy, antiseptic, digestive, and anti-inflammatory properties. Sage blooms in the spring emitting numerous purple, hermaphrodite flowers.


Sage, like rosemary, is a plant native to the Mediterranean that can be cultivated in vegetable gardens, in the garden, or in vases without any major problems. In any case, it must be cultivated in full sun. In the case of cultivation in container, given sage's strong growth, the plants must be repotted in containers that are sufficiently wide and deep. The soil may be made up by 70% organic soil and 30% inert material, to facilitate the draining of excess water. Irrigation should be regular, performed at intervals that enable the soil to dry. Once a month, it is opportune to fertilize with a ternary fertilizer dissolved in the irrigation water. The branches should be trimmed often to obtain compact plants with fresh sprouts that can be used in cuisine.